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Intel or AMD for new rig?

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  • New Build
  • AMD
  • Intel
  • Systems
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Last response: in Systems
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November 13, 2011 12:40:26 PM

Hi all,

I'm looking to upgrade my 5 year old rig, want to decide which CPU to go for. My current setup is a AMD X2-4200+, and my experience with AMD has been positive so far.

With Bulldozer being a big disappointment, I'm wondering whether my money should be spent on AMD or Intel.

I already have a discreet card which I intend to reuse.

What would be a recommended CPU+MB combo in the region of $400 or lesser? Usage will be light gaming (Company of Heroes) and general usage. I'm looking for a rig which has got a upgrade path and will last like my present rig.

More about : intel amd rig

November 13, 2011 1:11:34 PM

It totally depends on the budget and goals.

I've recomended plenty of AMD and Intel builds recently. I just built the PC in my sig and my goal was to have a capable HD home video editor along with a gaming PC.

With $400 for the mobo&CPU, I'd probably recommend an Intel CPU (i5+extreme3 gen3 is a good option). You could get a better P67 motherboard if you don't need quicksync or Intel Smart Response Technology (SSD caching).

However since it is general use and "light gaming", you could spend ~$60 less with an AMD Phenom II X4 955 (assuming you are going to OC) and an ASRock 990FX Extreme4 or Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3. You could save even more if you don't need the latest AMD chipset. Something like a Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 would save you another $40.
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November 13, 2011 1:35:55 PM

Thanks for the tips norlead. Does the AMD 990fx have an upgrade path? I have read that Piledriver will have a different socket, while Ivy bridge will continue with LGA1155. If that is true, then I prefer to go Intel since LGA1155 will have an upgrade path.And yes, quick sync is a requirement.

As for the light gaming part, a little headroom will be nice because newer games will require more processing power.
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November 13, 2011 1:36:09 PM

Thanks for the tips norlead. Does the AMD 990fx have an upgrade path? I have read that Piledriver will have a different socket, while Ivy bridge will continue with LGA1155. If that is true, then I prefer to go Intel since LGA1155 will have an upgrade path.And yes, quick sync is a requirement.

As for the light gaming part, a little headroom will be nice because newer games will require more processing power.
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Best solution

a b å Intel
November 13, 2011 1:36:20 PM

For the tasks listed, either/or would be OK - The question becomes more of how will you use the system 3 years from know.

Do not get too wrapped up in saving money below the 400 dollar target. $100 bucks sounds like a nice savings, but what you save will not even buy you a cup of coffee per week over the next 5 years.

Go with the $400 and Buy the best you can, don't forget to add Ram to your cost.

As I said either or will sdatisfy your needs, But I recommend the Intel route. Not always about the CPU - It's about the System - Chipset and driver support.

Most recommend the P67 MB if Not needing quicksysnc or SRT, I prefer the Z68 lineup (Gigabyte, Asus, Astrock) for the following reasons:
(1) When you build the system you do not have to install a GPU. In the hopefully small possibilty that the system does bot boot, you have eliminated the GPU as a source - simplifing troubleshooting. Down stream if the GPU develops a problem you can always revert to the IGP and use the computer while waiting on a replacement.
(2) If you do any video encoding, The Z68 platform is better. If you do not well then depends on your crystal ball on future use.
(3) Then there is SRT, using a small SSD to cache a large HDD. This typically speeds up the HDD performance by 1.5 ->4 X. For me this is a questionable Plus as I I'm not a lover of SRT.

.
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November 13, 2011 1:40:40 PM

Thanks Chief, I already have a 128 GB SSD. So SRT is not really a requirement. And my budget excludes the cost of 16 GB RAM which I will be buying during black Friday.
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Anonymous
November 13, 2011 4:15:37 PM

fullerms said:
Hi all,

I'm looking to upgrade my 5 year old rig, want to decide which CPU to go for. My current setup is a AMD X2-4200+, and my experience with AMD has been positive so far.

With Bulldozer being a big disappointment, I'm wondering whether my money should be spent on AMD or Intel.

I already have a discreet card which I intend to reuse.

What would be a recommended CPU+MB combo in the region of $400 or lesser? Usage will be light gaming (Company of Heroes) and general usage. I'm looking for a rig which has got a upgrade path and will last like my present rig.


if Ivy Bridge is all its hyped to be I would wait for that, the only problem is AND will have phased out their fastest processors - AM3 by then , and if Ivy Bridge is a disappointment you will be left with little good options
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November 13, 2011 5:08:08 PM

intel i5 2500k rocks i have it and i love it buy it bcz its perfomance in games is very good you can even overclock it to 4.2 to 4.5 ghz
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November 13, 2011 5:16:35 PM

If your considering ivy, might wait for it, intel is brining a new chipset with it, albiet still 1155, just improved features for ivy itself.
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a b å Intel
November 13, 2011 8:26:56 PM

I Might be wrong, but I think the lowest cost UNLOCKed CPU for IB is in the $500 range.
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a b À AMD
November 13, 2011 8:42:03 PM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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November 14, 2011 4:38:48 PM

Ok. I have been "guided" towards a i5-2500K + Z68 setup. Looks like this is a winning combo with a upgrade path to ivybridge when it becomes available.

Questions:

Do I really need i5-2500k? I want a CPU with enough horse power to transcode videos and play games at decent fps. I will look into OC a year or so down the line when newer games and software demand even higher processing power. So a little headroom + potential for OC (not looking to set records here) is a nice to have. I am not a frequent upgrader, and will probably drop in a ivybridge CPU in early 2014 and keep the rest.


I was reading good things about the Extreme 4 Gen 3, until I read a hardocp review. http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/11/09/asrock_z68_ex.... I have also read that the ASRock's 8 phase voltage regulator may not provide for stable overclocks. There are also negative reports on the Etron USB 3.0 controllers used on Asrock and Gigabyte motherboads. But, the ASRock has a plx chip onbard for additional PCI lanes. :??:  So, I'm back to where I started with the motherboard and all the more confused.

Assuming I opt to i5-2500k, it's going to cost me about $220, which leaves me around $180 for the motherboard. Which of these from newegg are recommended? Would be willing to spend a little extra if it makes a difference.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Do I need 16GB RAM? I was considering buying 2x4 GB and adding more later, but thats leads to compatibility issues. I have faced problems when I did that with my current DDR2 setup, and dont want to go through the pain again. Question is will I ever need 16 GB RAM over the next few years? I built my current rig in 2006 with 2 GB, and now I have 8 GB which is just nice for today's needs. If that is a trend, will 16 GB make sense in the long run? And 16 GB is less than 100$ anyway, so I dont mind spending if it makes sense.

Want to buy this RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... And why is this cheaper than the blue coloured version?

Inputs please.
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November 14, 2011 4:51:26 PM

IMHO the 2500k is worth it. For only $40 bucks more you get a cpu that you can easily overclock to over 4GHZ with air cooling.

The ram: 8GB will easily run 64 bit windows, all the games, photoshop and so on. Unless your going crazy with virtualization or have a specific need, then you don't need 16 gigs.
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November 15, 2011 9:03:14 AM

Any feedback on the ASRock Extreme 4 Gen 3? Are there better boards out there at same or slightly higher price?
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November 15, 2011 10:28:44 AM

fullerms said:
Any feedback on the ASRock Extreme 4 Gen 3? Are there better boards out there at same or slightly higher price?

fantastic board. For 50$ less you can get the e3 gen3 that is basically the same. For their price no other mobo offers the same.
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November 15, 2011 12:53:01 PM

Agree with the e3 Gen 3, but I think it is too minimalistic The e4 Gen 3 on the other hand, provides for some growth such as a PCI-e SSD card or a dual GPU + Physx setup :ange: 
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November 15, 2011 2:36:34 PM

Just dreaming lol. But a Physx card might just be slipped in. Lets see.
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November 15, 2011 3:24:48 PM

Picked this up from the Anandtech forums

"The different between the Extreme 4 and Extreme 3 seem to just be:

4 SATA3 vs 2
1 displayport connection on Extreme 4
Different LAN controller
2 vs 0 USB3.0 internal ports (these are what I'd use for the front panel usb support on cases, right?)"

Picked this up from the Asrock website

" 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5, Intel® Rapid Storage and Intel® Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions (SATA3_1 connector is shared with eSATA3 port)"

That is a deal breaker for me as far as the E3 is concerned, cannot do RAID and use the eSata port at the same time :(  They should have shared the Sata2 port instead. The E4 has the same "feature", but it uses the Marvell Sata3 port to share with eSata, leaving the Two Intel Sata 3 ports for internal use.

And the 2 USB 3.0 front panel ports will also be nice to have, and Asrock actually includes the Front panel too.

Any feedback on the Etron USB 3.0 chips used on these boards? I am reading a few bad things about them, and would like some feedback from actual owners.
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November 15, 2011 5:38:34 PM

That's a tough choice for me, as I'm all for AMD (but I fully accept that intel makes better chips). If it's for some gaming and for surfing the web and other daily things, this would be good

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

It has 6 cores which is good for multitasking (listening to music, surfing the web etc at the same time), and the frequency is good for gaming at 3.3GHz (or up to 3.7 GHz)
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November 16, 2011 8:17:17 AM

I think I will step away from AMD for this one. With i5-2500K + Z68, I know that I have a good performer with an upgrade path to Ivybridge when it is launched. So, my rig will have a few years life in it. With the current state of AMD, looks like AM3+ will be shortlived and the performance of BD is not as expected.
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November 16, 2011 8:17:50 AM

I think I will step away from AMD for this one. With i5-2500K + Z68, I know that I have a good performer with an upgrade path to Ivybridge when it is launched. So, my rig will have a few years life in it. With the current state of AMD, looks like AM3+ will be shortlived and the performance of BD is not as expected.
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November 26, 2011 12:47:56 AM

Best answer selected by fullerms.
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